- to increase in intensity, magnitude, etc.: to escalate a war; a time when prices escalate.
- to raise, lower, rise, or descend on or as if on an escalator.
Origin of escalate
First recorded in 1920–25; back formation from escalator
SynonymsSee more synonyms for escalate on Thesaurus.com
1. advance, mount, swell.
1. lower, decrease, fall.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- to increase or be increased in extent, intensity, or magnitudeto escalate a war; prices escalated because of inflation
C20: back formation from escalator
Word Origin and History for non-escalating
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper